Splitting Heirs (1993) (Blu-ray Review)
DIRECTED BY: Robert Young
STARRING: Rick Moranis, Eric Idle, Barbara Hershey
RATED: PG-13/REGION A/1:85/1080P/NUMBER OF DISCS 1
AVAILABLE FROM Mill Creek Entertainment
At a wild party during the ’60s, baby Thomas Henry Butterfly Rainbow Peace (a.k.a. the 15th duke of Bournemouth) is accidentally “misplaced” but his rich hippie mum and dad. When the wrong baby is claimed, the real heir winds up being raised by a poor Pakistani family, while the “heir apparent” grows up in America with a silver spoon in his mouth. Once Tommy Patel (Idle) learns that he, not Henry Martin (Moranis), is the true Duke of Bournemouth, he’ll do anything to get back what he’s lost! fortunately for Henry, Tommy’s a pretty inept assassin. Unfortunately for them both, Tommy’s seedy lawyer Shadgrind (Cleese) is a tad more adept! Add to the mix a scandalous, nymphomaniacal Duchess (Hershey), a gorgeous gold-digger (Zeta-Jones), plus a host of assorted loonies, and you have a Pythonesque cavalcade of silliness. Can Tommy regain his dukedom, survive Shadgrind’s schemes, avoid being seduced by his own unwitting mom, and marry the girl of his dreams? Find out for yourself. You’ll split your sides laughing!
This British black comedy packs a prime Rick Moranis, Eric Idle, and a super hot looking Catherine Zeta-Jones! So right out the gate, you have some perks of watching this one. The story tells the old “switched at birth” story and for the most part, it’s pretty harmless and not unworthy at all of you spending your time giving it a good once overwatch. This is a movie that doesn’t seem to get a lot of love from most reviewers, especially back in the day, but I think it’s aged well enough to go back and revisit it, even if you perhaps weren’t as blown away by it upon its original release. It’s not by any means a classic but it is a movie that doesn’t get talked about a lot, but maybe deserves a second chance from those who once wasn’t that blown away by it.
The release looks fine for what it is. This isn’t the best-looking movie on Blu-ray I’ve ever seen but something like this might be a bit lucky to even be on Blu-ray to start with. It’s part of the Mill Creek Retro line, so you get the nice VHS-themed slipcase. You just don’t get anything in the way of extras on it and that could be a turn-off to a lot, but that’s also starting to become a common thing with these random releases from Mill Creek on Blu-ray. All in all, it’s worth at least one watch despite not being anywhere near great.
QUALITY OF TRANSFER: 80%